Round III (2017/18)

A summary of the superb initiatives supported by Digital Xtra Fund during the Fund’s third round of grant funding overall, and first as an independent charity. In total, 11 extracurricular initiatives were awarded grants of up to £5,000 each.

In November 2017, Digital Xtra Fund awarded a total of £50,000 in grant awards for high-quality extracurricular computing initiatives for young people. It was the third funding round overall but first as an independent charity. The Fund supported 11 initiatives, helping them inspire 4,215 young people aged 6 to 16, including 2,092 girls and women, across 21 local authorities. These initiatives introduced young people to the huge opportunities in digital technologies, showing them the range of careers these skills will provide. Five awardees were new initiatives which demonstrated creative and fun ways to engage young people, with the remaining six projects building on activities previously supported by Digital Xtra Fund.

All of these projects demonstrated scalability, sustainability and innovation and most importantly the ability to encourage young people across to engage and participate in computing science related activities and build their digital skills. Results from this grant cycle can be found here.

Angus Young Engineers

Angus Young Engineers’ CAD/CAM Café will facilitate peer-to-peer learning at Forfar Academy and primary schools in the catchment. The Café will teach pupils about digital skills through role-play based activities like designing and testing drones on missions to deliver antidotes to remote locations. Pupils will immerse themselves in the world of 3D computer animated design and 3D printing.

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Apps for Good

Apps for Good is known for their inspiring programme of teaching young people to code for social good . In 2018/19, Digital Xtra Fund will support their work in Aberdeenshire, Highlands, Orkney, and Perth & Kinross, to deliver courses where young people can build, market and launch digital products, from apps to IoT devices. The catch? All the creations must solve a real issue within the pupils’ local community.

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Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival will revisit ten Primary schools in Dumfries & Galloway and South Lanarkshire who took part in last year’s successful LEGO Mindstorms workshops as part of their primary schools outreach programme, Generation Science. This year, pupils will get the chance to experience a brand-new workshop, Roboconstructors, where they will build reactive robots. Pupils will learn about robotics while developing new skills in programming and engineering as well as expanding their design and critical thinking abilities.

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Inveralmond Community High School

Inveralmond Community High School is one of the new fast-paced projects to hit the track. Funding will enable Inveralmond to become Scotland’s first F1 in Schools Centre for Excellence, supporting adrenaline-junkie pupils from secondary schools across Scotland who are keen to take part in the Schools Technology Challenge where they will design, construct, and race miniature Formula 1 cars powered by compressed air, reaching speeds of up to 20 metres per second.

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Inverness Science Festival

Inverness Science Festival will be engaging over 900 young people in Scotland’s more rural communities as it hits the road, travelling to a number of locations including primary and secondary schools and holiday clubs across the north, to host its special coding events culminating in series of family days at the 2018 Science Festival.

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McLaren High School

Fifty pupils from McLaren High School will each develop a cross-curricular digital technologies project to help inspire other pupils at the High School. Projects include a laser harp, micro-wind turbine, a robot table-tennis player, and a computer programme that can perform facial recognition. All the projects will then be presented during a McLaren STEM Festival with industry experts and public.

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New College Lanarkshire

Support from Digital Xtra Fund will allow New College Lanarkshire to expand their VEX Robotics programme and enable 8 additional teams from secondary schools across Lanarkshire to take part in the VEX Robotics Competition. VEX Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams to design, build, and programme a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge with the winning teams progressing to the UK finals.

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Scottish Council for Development & Industry

Back by popular demand is Scottish Council for Development & Industry’s ‘Little Lighthouse Project’, part of the their Young Engineer’s and Science Clubs Scotland programme. Support from Digital Xtra Fund will enable SCDI to expand its innovative project to two more local authorities – Argyll & Bute and Moray – allowing them to engage with an additional 360 school pupils for their project, which uses lighthouses to teach STEM concepts, such as electricity and light.

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Stirling High School

There is a lot happening in Stirling with the recent opening of CodeBase Stirling and the ongoing Gigabit City transformation, and Stirling High School is in the middle of it. The project will see the development of a Digital Learning Hub as a foundation for a sustainable ecosystem of peer learning and collaboration between the High School and their feeder primary schools. The Hub will allow 170 pupils to learn Scratch and Python as well as use Raspberry Pi kits to further explore gaming, the weather, and even autonomous vehicles.

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The Prince's Trust

When The Prince’s Trust was founded in 1976, digital technology was still in its infancy. It is now projected by 2020, 90% of careers will require some degree of digital skills. Support from Digital Xtra Fund will enable the Trust to deliver a series of digital industry days for young people in their Achieve programme, a personal development programme for young people who are at risk of disengaging from formal education. Participants will have the opportunity to try coding, meet employers, and learn about future digital careers.

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West College Scotland

West College Scotland will be building on the foundations laid in 2016 by once again supporting coding clubs for pupils in Renfrewshire as well as additional CPD sessions. The afterschool clubs will offer digital making activities using Micro:bit and Virtual Reality in an informal and creative setting. Working with the local STEM Ambassadors programme, WCS will aim to build skills and stimulate pupils’ interest in digital technologies subjects and careers.

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